South Africa is participating in the world’s largest exhibition in the hydrogen and fuel cell (FC) industry, showcasing the latest technologies, research and development innovation, components, materials and devices.
Taking place in Tokyo from 15 to 17 March, the 2023 Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Expo forms part of a series of events that comprise World Smart Energy Week.
In line with global developments, South Africa sees the hydrogen economy as a potential game changer to re-industrialise the country and to become an exporter of cost-effective green hydrogen to the world, leveraging its abundant mineral and natural resources such as solar and wind.
The Cabinet approval of the National Hydrogen Society Roadmap for South Africa 2021 and the release of the Hydrogen Valley Feasibility Study Report are the culmination of a long-standing investment by the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) in the development and application of scientific knowledge domains such as the hydrogen economy, which South Africa sees as critical for advancing national development and global competitiveness.
The DSI considers the expo platform to be an opportunity to showcase the relevant infrastructure, technical capabilities and competencies established through the three Centres of Competence (HySA Catalysis, HySA Infrastructure and HySA Systems) as part of implementing the DSI-supported Hydrogen South Africa (HySA) Programme.
In addition to the three HySA Centres of Competence, the DSI has invited eight South African companies (HyPlat, Bambili Energy, Anglo American Platinum, Coega Development Corporation, Sasol Limited, Hive Energy, InfiniX Energy and Midnite Aerospace Solutions) to be part of the exhibitors in the South African pavilion.
The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, an entity of the DSI, will also exhibit its work towards the development of a hydrogen-powered unmanned aerial vehicle, using locally developed fuel cell technology to support efforts to decarbonise aviation in South Africa.
Apart from showcasing their capabilities, stakeholders will be able to explore complementary partnerships to unlock the potential socio-economic benefits of the integration of hydrogen and fuel-cell technologies in various sectors of the economy.
The South African pavilion will demonstrate the country’s potential to sell green hydrogen and green ammonia to countries such as Japan and the UK at globally competitive prices, as well as the ability to create an enabling ecosystem that supports hydrogen innovation and skills development. The expo will also be used to explore strategic partnerships that will promote the manufacturing of locally developed intellectual property across the Hydrogen Valley corridor.